Volunteer Service Medal petition

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Volunteer Service Medal petition

Clive M. Law - Service Publications
Clive M. Law - Service Publications

November 1st, 2009, 9:17 pm #1


See herehttp://www.gopetition.com/petitions/vol ... erans.html
Any Canadian can sign this, not just former members of the CF.
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

November 2nd, 2009, 12:40 am #2

But isn't the distinction here that the CVSM and the Korean War medal were awarded for volunteering to serve during a time of hostilities?

I am sure my dad would be pleased as punch to receive a medal, as he is very proud of his Militia service in the late 1950s, so it's kind of counter-productive of me to pour cold water on it, but then again, there has always been a service medal awarded for "long service" and "good conduct". Namely, the CD, and before that, the various long service medals of the various services - ED, VD, etc. So if you did your 12, etc. years, you did get your medal.

Really, what value is there in a troop who joins up, takes the Queen's shilling for six months, sucks up valuable training time and dollars, and then hits the road? See plenty of those over the years. Is it something worth rewarding?
Michael Dorosh
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canadiansoldiers.com
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

November 2nd, 2009, 12:46 am #3

On further thought, I would make one of the conditions of award "release." i.e. current serving soldiers are ineligible to wear it. That way there it isn't a "gimme" for untrained soldiers. Peter Worthington keeps talking about how we are upping the medal counts on our DEUs and I think he has a point, for those that are keeping track of such things. He had a long article on the Sacrifice Medal the other day in the Sun newspapers that was interesting reading.

http://www.calgarysun.com/comment/colum ... 6-sun.html

Canada announced last August it was instituting a medal for those killed or wounded in action, to be called the Sacrifice Medal.

To some, this seemed a crass imitation of the Purple Heart, which the U.S. gives to those killed or wounded due to enemy action.

Recipients are often described as having "won" the Purple Heart, when actually simply being wounded entitles one to the medal.

In the Second World War and Korea, Canadians and Brits were inclined to make fun of the Purple Heart. They considered it more commendable to be in action and not get wounded.

If wounded, Canadians and British forces were entitled to wear a gold stripe on their battle dress sleeve. It was optional. No big deal.

Today, the Sacrifice Medal is a very big deal, and brings the total number of "new" medals authorized by Canada since the end of the Second World War to around 115 -- and counting.

Despite the fact WWII and Korea vets were uneasy with the idea of awarding medals for being wounded, Defence Minister Peter MacKay has eased the terms by which the medal will be given.

The Sacrifice Medal has been "expanded to recognize all service related deaths after Oct. 7, 2001," says a DND release. In other words, any soldier on duty who dies or is injured gets the medal. This is more generous than the Purple Heart, which implies a serious wound by the enemy, even though Sen. John Kerry (Democratic presidential candidate in 2004), got three Purple Hearts (one requiring a Band-Aid) which entitled him to leave Vietnam early.

Why on earth are we calling it the "Sacrifice Medal?" That's not very soldierly, and suggests passively offering oneself without fighting back.

Soldiers don't think of themselves, or their role, as "sacrificing." They do their duty, take their chances, are prepared to fight, even be killed, but usually don't consciously view it as "sacrificing." That's a civilian term to make their loss more acceptable.

In past wars, Canadians tended to place greater emphasis on not getting wounded, and forcing the enemy to die for their country. Even though we seem to be emulating an American military custom, we also seem intent on diluting the award.

Under revised qualifications, the Sacrifice Medal can be awarded to someone killed or injured in an accident while travelling on duty. A civilian is entitled to it if injured while working for the military.

Being harshly treated while a prisoner entitles one to the medal, as does a mental disorder brought on by hostile action. Even being "exposed to the elements" (bad weather?) can qualify.

When the Sacrifice Medal was first proposed, the likes of Cliff Chadderton, Chairman of the National Council of Veteran Associations (56 organizations) was uneasy. Why now, and not when we were in the big war, where those killed got nothing? Is life more precious today?

How about the 100-plus Canadians who died during 30-plus years of UN peacekeeping? Don't they rate?

This medal is awarded for injuries sustained on or after Oct. 7, 2001 -- following president George Bush's declaration of the War on Terror, which Canada endorsed.

Anyway, get used to it. The Sacrifice Medal joins the expanding mosaic of colourful medals and ribbons issued by Canada.
Last edited by dorosh on November 2nd, 2009, 12:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
Michael Dorosh
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Steve F
Steve F

November 2nd, 2009, 2:42 am #4

I find it embarrassing enough to explain the CPSM to people and don't really want another "gimme" medal. Seems to me that for some reason there is a desire by some people to adopt a system of recognition for service that our neighbors to the south have (and make fun of).
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Gord Bennett
Gord Bennett

November 2nd, 2009, 4:36 am #5

My father retired after doing well over thirty years of service. The Korean War was his only operational service abroad, yet he still managed to rack-up a total of nine gongs over the years (including the two bars on his CD). His rack might look big and impressive to the untrained eye.
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Kevin Green
Kevin Green

November 2nd, 2009, 6:20 am #6

I'm sorry, but this smacks of sports day at the Sheltered Workshop where everybody gets a ribbon so nobody's feelings are hurt.

I spent some 6 years in the Naval Reserve and Militia and though I knew that the remotest possiblity existed that I might get called into active service, I never once thought I was contributing anything to my country. Why on earth should I be entitled to a medal for that?

If I hear some distant rattling, I will know somebody in Ottawa has given their heads a shake, but I'm not holding my breath.
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James Pringle
James Pringle

November 2nd, 2009, 2:35 pm #7

See herehttp://www.gopetition.com/petitions/vol ... erans.html
Any Canadian can sign this, not just former members of the CF.
The guys heart is in the right spot, but worthless awards like this for "just showing up" diminish the real awards. If this does come into being it could keep the unmounted CPSA medal company in the bottom of my desk drawer.
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Michael Johnson
Michael Johnson

November 2nd, 2009, 5:01 pm #8

See herehttp://www.gopetition.com/petitions/vol ... erans.html
Any Canadian can sign this, not just former members of the CF.
I agree that there is too much slippage here.

My grandfather was invalided in 1916 (never got out of Toronto). He got a Class C discharge pin.

If we shift him up to 1939-45, he would have had a CVSM and War Medal.

My father was turned down for overseas service, and spent the Second War in the Reserve Army. He got nothing.

Were he alive today I'm sure he wouldn't want a medal, except to give me for my collection.

There was a day when it was common to see guys with only the UN Cyprus and CD up. After 20 years' service. Not even tour numerals.
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JP
JP

November 2nd, 2009, 10:01 pm #9

Come Nov 11 look for those cats that have never been anywhere, without a word of a lie I saw a Major in Ottawa wearing a CD w/clasp and the Canada 125 medal. Whereever this dude was hiding he has done pretty good at not going anywhere. Then look for todays RCR Cpl or Pte (and any other field unit for that matter) and they are generally well awarded and some look like WW2 vets with their rack of medals.
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Doug Townend
Doug Townend

November 2nd, 2009, 10:19 pm #10

That Major you wrote of could have been in any of several occupations in the military which were not required on PK or other missions, eg Personnel Selection Officer; or he could have been in the Air Force or Navy. I've met Naval officers who spent much of their service at sea but never received anything but the CD.

DT.
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